2018 looks set to be another hard year for the retail sector, with news a retailer operating for almost seven decades is the latest casualty of the industry malaise.
Kangaroo Tent City & BBQs, an NSW manufacturer and retailer of camping and outdoor gear, announced its collapse on 2 February.
The company, which operates six outlets in Sydney as well as the NSW Central Coast and Illawarra, only moved to larger premises in western Sydney in late 2014. The Illawarra store was already earmarked for closure in mid-February prior to the company going into administration.
Kangaroo Tent City & BBQs dates back to 1949, when it began as a family-owned and operated business in Sydney’s inner west. It claims to be the first company in Australia to have manufactured frame tents.
Andrew Spring of Jirsch Sutherland, who was appointed as voluntary administrator, remained upbeat about the turnaround prospects for the business, despite it suffering from declining sales over the last year.
“Voluntary Administration doesn’t have to sound the ‘death knell’ for a business. It allows breathing space while its future is resolved. That’s certainly the case for Kangaroo Tent City & BBQs,” he said.
“This is a well-established business that has a ready-made, loyal customer base, quality stock offering with unique brands, and large stores in great locations. It provides an ideal opportunity for an existing retailer who has a strong understanding of e-commerce and technology to reinvigorate a great, established brand.
“This is a balance sheet solvent business whose director is taking the early step to enliven the business and ensure his family’s legacy is preserved. Our aim now is to preserve the asset value and employees’ jobs.”
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.